U.S. short track coach accused of abuse

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A code of conduct complaint was filed with U.S. Speedskating and the USOC Friday against short trackcoach Jae Su Chun by 19 current and former skaters, including four medalists from the 2010 Vancouver team. Chun, who was recruited by Team USA after his success with the South Korean team, has been placed on administrative leave.

The allegations describe physical and verbal abuse, as well as Chun tossing bottles, chairs, binders, and equipment, and calling female athletes “fat,” and “disgusting.” Or, as Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight used to refer to it as: Tuesday.

Chun acknowledged one incident where he is accused of throwing an athlete against a wall, saying, in a translated statement, that the two “resolved the conflict amicably and he certainly was not injured.”

“I have not abused athletes in any way,” Chun continued. “And am confident I will be found innocent at the outcome of the investigation.”

Absent from the list of disgruntled athletes were notable speedskaters Apolo Anton Ohno, an eight-time Olympic medalist, and Katherine Reutter, the 2010-11 world champion.

U.S. Speedskating has scheduled a news conference for 4 p.m. ET Monday.

Syria-born Olympian takes advocacy role at U.N. refugee agency

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GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency has chosen as a goodwill ambassador a Syrian teenage girl who helped save a boat carrying fellow refugees and later became an Olympic swimmer.

Yusra Mardini was appointed as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador on Thursday, joining other notables like actress Cate Blanchett and author Khaled Hosseini in the unpaid advocacy role.

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said Mardini “represents the hopes, the fears and the incredible potential of the more than 10 million young refugees around the globe.”

Mardini and her sister Sarah jumped overboard and swam for hours alongside their overloaded boat to reach Greece from Turkey in 2015.

She swam on the first Refugee Olympic team in Rio last year and has discussed refugees’ challenges with leaders like Pope Francis and President Barack Obama.

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Rafael Nadal recreates famous 1992 Olympic cauldron lighting

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Rafael Nadal, owner of two Olympic gold medals, recently parroted arguably the most famous moment in Spanish Olympic history.

Nadal and Marc Lopez, the 2016 Olympic doubles champions, took up bows and arrows and joined archer Antonio Rebollo on Monday at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Stadium. It brought back memories of Rebollo’s unforgettable cauldron lighting from the only Olympics held in Spain.

Nadal is in Barcelona for an ATP Tour event as he prepares to vie for a 10th French Open title next month.

Rebollo, now 61 years old, was one of 200 hundred archers considered to light the cauldron in 1992. He learned that he was chosen for the role over four other finalists two hours ahead of time, according to an NBC Olympics profile in 1996.

The cauldron would be 195 feet away. Fearing Rebollo would miss the target, organizers instructed him to fire his arrow beyond the stadium walls. As the arrow soared, a technician lit the natural gas flame with a remote control.

The illusion worked. The true story wasn’t revealed for another 20 years.

“There were no fears,” Rebollo, a Barcelona native who contracted polio at age 8, told NBC two decades ago. “I was practically a robot. I focused on my positioning and reaching the target. That was all. … My feelings were taken from the people who described to me how they saw it. What they felt, their emotions, their cries. This is what made me realize what the moment actually meant.”

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